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Cabinet Secretary launches major international sovereignty conference

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, opened a major international conference today (Monday 29 April) on the meaning of sovereignty in a global world, hosted by the University of St Andrews.

Leading international experts from the United States, Germany, Italy, South Africa, England and Scotland gathered in St Andrews to explore one of the most controversial political concepts of our time, sovereignty.

Sovereignty has been at the heart of political philosophy for centuries, and yet it is far from clear what work sovereignty is doing in the modern world. Over two days, international experts will explore why some international interventions are acceptable, but others condemned or resented, the role of sovereignty in a world of international finance, global information exchange, and supranational regulation and whether sovereignty is only relevant to some parts of the world or of global relevance.

The conference will discuss the intellectual roots of sovereignty in a conversation with sociological theory and the realities of a globalised world to create a broader context for contemporary debates.

Opening the conference, the Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Historical and geo-political analysis gives perspective, and so this academic conference is a welcome initiative.

“The declaration that sovereignty is vested in the people of Scotland formed the basis for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament.

“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of devolution the topic of sovereignty could not be more relevant, particularly in debating major constitutional questions posed by issues such as leaving the EU.”

St Andrews Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “This is the first year the British Academy has funded conferences outside London, and we are delighted St Andrews has been chosen to host an important event on sovereignty, a topic at the forefront of current debates in Scotland and elsewhere.

“Since its inception, the conference has been supported by Fiona Hyslop and her engagement has played an essential role in it coming to Scotland.”

The conference is the annual event hosted by the University of St Andrews Institute of Constitutional and Legal Research and is part of the 2019 programme of British Academy Conferences supported by the Academia Europaea.


Photo captions

Top (left to right): Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews Sally Mapstone with Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop at the Sovereignty Conference at the University’s School of Management

Bottom (left to right): Principal Sally Mapstone, Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Professor Christopher Smith of the School of Classics

Among those attending the conference are: Dr R Alcaro, Istituto Affari Internazionali; Professor V Arena, UCL; Dr K Bagchi, Heidelberg; Dr F Costa Buranelli, St Andrews; Professor J Fontein, Johannesburg; Professor L Habberstad, Oregon; Professor D Hammer, Franklin and Marshall College; Professor J Gallaher, Centre on Constitutional Change; Dr B Holland, Nottingham; Professor E Isayev, Exeter; Dr C Jones, St Andrews; Professor S Legg, Nottingham; Professor C Lundgreen, Dresden University; Professor H Rosa, Erfurt; Dr A Russell, Durham; Professor L Stonebridge, Birmingham; Dr M Somos, Heidelberg; Dr T St John, St Andrews; and Professor R Whatmore, St Andrews.

For more information visit the event website.

British Academy Conferences

British Academy Conferences bring together leading and emerging scholars from around the world to present and discuss new research in the humanities and social sciences. Held at the British Academy and universities across the UK, these landmark events offer students, scholars and specialists a chance to expand their networks and learn about the latest developments in their field.

Academia Europaea

The object of Academia Europaea is the advancement and propagation of excellence in scholarship in the humanities, law, the economic, social and political sciences, mathematics, medicine, and all branches of natural and technological sciences anywhere in the world for the public benefit and for the advancement of the education of the public of all ages. The aim of the Academy is to promote European research, advise governments and international organisations in scientific matters, and further interdisciplinary and international research.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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